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gate; where he amused himself, as usual, by writing and publishing four pamphlets in support of his opinions.
It is by no means our intention, however, to digest a chronicle either of his persecutions or his publications. In the earlier part of his career, he seems to have been in prison every six months; and, for a very considerable period of it, certainly favoured the world with at least six new pamphlets every year. In all these, as well as in his public appearances, there is a singular mixture of earnestness and sobriety-a devotedness to the cause in which he was engaged, that is almost sublime; and a temperance and patience towards his opponents, that is truly admirable: while in the whole of his private life, there is redundant testimony, even from the mouths of his enemies, that his conduct was pure and philanthropic in an extraordinary degree, and distinguished at the same time for singular prudence and judgment in all ordinary affairs. His virtues and his sufferings appear at last to have overcome his father's objections to his peculiar tenets; and a thorough and cordial reconciliation took place previous to their final separation. On his deathbed the admiral is said to have approved warmly of every part of his son's conduct; and to have predicted, that <if he and his friends kept to their plain way of preaching and • of living, they would speedily make an end of the priests, to ( the end of the world. '-By his father's death, he succeeded to a handsome estate, then yielding upwards of 15001. a year, but made no change either in his professions or way of life. He was at the press and in Newgate, after this event, exactly as before; and defied and reviled the luxury of the age, just as vehemently, when he was in a condition to partake of it, as in the days of his poverty. Within a short time after his succession, he made a pilgrimage to Holland and Germany in company with George Fox; where it is said that they converted many of all ranks, including young ladies of quality and old professors of divinity. They were ill used, however, by a surly Graf or two, who sent them out of their dominions under a corporal's guard; an attention which they repaid, by long letters of expostulation and advice, which the worthy Grafs were probably neither able nor willing to read.
In the midst of these labours and trials, he found time to marry a lady of great beauty and accomplishment; and settled himself in a comfortable and orderly house in the country--but, at the same time, remitted nothing of his zeal and activity in support of the cause in which he had embarked. When the penal statutes against Popish recusants were about to be passed, in 1078, by the tenor of which, certain grievous punishments
were inflicted upon all who did not frequent the established church, or purge themselves, upon oath, from popery, William Penn was allowed to be heard before a Committee of the House of Commons, in support of the Quakers' application for some exemption from the unintended severity of these edicts ;--and what has been preserved of his speech upon that occasion, certainly 'is not the least respectable of his performances. It required no ordinary magnanimity for any one, in the very height of the frenzy of the Popish plot, boldly to tell the House of Commons,that it was unlawful to inflict punishment upon • Catholics themselves, on account of a conscientious dissent.' This, however, William Penn did, with the firmness of a true philosopher; but at the same time, with so much of the meekness and humility of the Quaker, that he was heard without offence or interruption and having thus put in his protest against the general principle of intolerance, he proceeded to plead his own cause and that of his brethren as follows.
• I was bred a Protestant, and that strictly too. I lost nothing by time or study. For years, reading, travel, and observations made the religion of my education the religion of my judgement. My alteration hath brought none to that belief; and though the posture I am in may seem odd or strange to you, yet I am conscientious; and, till you know me better, I hope your charity will call it rather my unhappiness than my crime. I do tell you again, and here solemnly declare, in presence of the Almighty God, and before you all, that the profession I now make, and the Society I now adhere to, have been so far from altering that Protestant judgement I had, that I am not conscious to myself of having receded from an iota of any one principle maintained by those first Protestants and Reformers of Germany, and our own martyrs at home, against the see of Rome. On the contrary, I do with great truth assure you, that we are of the same negative faith with the ancient Protestant church ; and upon occasion shall be ready, by God's assistance, to make it appear, that we are of the same belief as to the most fundamental positive articles of her creed too : and therefore it is, we think it hard, that though we deny in common with her those doctrines of Rome so zealously protested against, (from whence the name Protestants,) yet that we should be so unhappy as to suffer, and that with extreme severity, by those very laws on purpose made against the maintainers of those doctrines which we do so de. ny. We chuse no suffering ; for God knows what we have already suffered, and how many sufficient and trading families are reduced to great poverty by it. We think ourselves an useful people. We are sure we are a peaceable people : yet, if we must still suffer, let us not suffer as Popish Recusants, but as Protestant Dissenters.' p. 220, 221.
About the same period we find him closely leagued with no less a person than Algernon Sydney, and busily employed in canvassing for him in the burgh of Guilford. But the most important of his occupations at this time, were those which connected him with that region which was destined to be the scene of his greatest and most memorable exertions. An accidental circumstance had a few years before engaged bim in some inquiries with regard to the state of that district in North America, since called New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. A great part of this territory had been granted by the Crown to the family of Lord Berkeley, who had recently sold a large part of it to a Quaker of the name of Billynge; and this person having fallen into pecuniary embarrassments, prevailed upon William Penn to accept of a conveyance of this property, and to undertake the management of it, as trustee for his creditors. The conscientious trustee applied himself to the discharge of this duty with his habitual scrupulousness and activity ;-and having speedily made himself acquainted with the condition and capabilities of the great province in question, was immediately struck with the opportunity it afforded, both for a beneficent arrangement of the interests of its inhabitants, and for providing a pleasant and desireable retreat for such of his own communion as were willing to leave their native land in pursuit of religious liberty. The original charter had vested the proprietor, under certain limitations, with the power of legislation ; and one of the first works of William Penn, was to draw up a sort of constitution for the land vested in Billynge—the cardinal foundation of which was, that no man should be troubled, molested, or subjected to any disability, on account of his religion. He then superintended the embarkation of two or three ship-loads of Quakers, who set off for this land of promise ;-and continued from time to time, both to hear so much of their prosperity, and to feel how much a larger proprietor might have it in his power to promote and extend it, that he at length conceived the idea of acquiring for himself a much larger district, and founding a settlement upon a still more liberal and comprehensive plan. The means of doing this were providentially placed in his hands, by the circumstance of his father having a claim upon the dissolute and needy government of that day, for no less than 16,0001.,-in lieu of which w. Penn proposed, that the district since called Pennsylvania should be made over to him, with such ample powers of administration, as made him little less than absolute sovereign of the country. The right of legislation was left entirely to him, and such councils as he might appoint; with no other limitation, than that his laws should be Liable to be rescinded by the Privy Council of England, within
six months after they were reported to it. This memorable charter was signed on the 4th of March 1681. He originally intended, that the country should have been called New Wales; but the under Secretary of State being a Welshman, thought, it seems, that this was using too much liberty with the ancient principality; and objected to it. He then suggested Sylvania ; but the King himself insisted upon adding Penn to it,—and after some struggles of modesty, it was found necessary to submit to his gracious desires.
He now proceeded to encourage settlers of all sorts,—but especially such sectaries as were impatient of the restraints and persecutions to which they were subjected in England ; and published certain conditions and regulations, the first fundamental of which,' as he
every per• son should enjoy the free profession of his faith, and exercise of « worship towards God, in such way as he shall in his con* science believe is most acceptable ; and should be protected in
this liberty by the authority of the civil magistrate.' With regard to the native inhabitants, he positively enacted, that • whoever should hurt, wrong, or offend any Indian, should o incur the same penalty as if he had offended in like manner
against his fellow planter;' and that the planters should not be their own judges in case of any difference with the Indians, but that all such differences should be settled by twelve referees, six Indians and six planters; under the direction, if need were, of the Governor of the province, and the Chief, or King of the Indians concerned. Under these wise and merciful regulations, three ships full of passengers sailed for the new province in the end of 1681. In one of these was Colonel Markham, a relation of Mr Penn's, and intended to act as his secretary when he should himself arrive. He was the chief of several commissioners, who were appointed to confer with the Indians with regard to the cession or purchase of their lands, and the terms of a perpetual peace, and was the bearer of the following letter to them from the Governor, which we think worthy of being transcribed, for the singular plainness, and engaging honesty, of its manner.
• « There is a great God, and Power, which hath made the world and all things therein, to whom you, and I, and all people, owe their being and well-being, and to whom you and I must one day give an account for all that we have done in the world,
• 6 This great God has written his law in our hearts; by which we are taught and commanded to love, and to help, and to do good to one another. Now this great God hath been pleased to make me concerned in your part of the world ; and the King of the country
where I live hath given me a great province therein : but I desire to enjoy it with your love and consent, that we may always live to. gether as neighbours and friends ; else what would the great God do to us, who hath made us (not to devour and destroy one another, but) to live soberly and kindly together in the world? Now, I would have you well observe, that I am very sensible of the unkindness and injustice which have been too much exercised toward you by the people of these parts of the world, who have sought themselves to make great advantages by you, rather than to be examples of goodness and patience unto you. This I hear bath been a matter of trouble to you, and caused great grudging and animosities, sometimes to the shedding of blood ;, which hath made the great
But I am not such a man, as is well known in my own country: I have great love and regard toward you, and desire to win and gain your love and friendship by a kind, just, and peaceable life ; and the people I send are of the same mind, and shall in all things behave themselves accordingly, and if in any thing any shall offend you or your people, you shall have a full and speedy satisfaction for the same, by an equal number of just men on both sides, that by no means you may have just occasion of being offend. ed against them. I shall shortly come to see you myself
, at which time we may more largely and freely confer and discourse of these matters. In the mean time I have sent my Commissioners to treat with you a. bout land and a firm league of peace. Let me desire you to be kind to them and to the people, and receive the presents and tokens, which I have sent you, as a testimony of my good will to you, and of my resolution to live justly, peaceably, and friendly with you.'
i “ I am your loving Friend, WILLIAM Penn.", In the course of the succeeding year, he prepared to follow these first colonists; and accordingly embarked, with about an hundred other Quakers, in the month of September 1682. Before separating himself, however, from his family on this long pilgrimage, he addressed a long letter of love and admonition 10 his wife and children, from which we are tempted to make a pretty large extract for the entertainment and edification of our readers. There is something, we think, very touching and venerable in the affectionateness of its whole strain, and the patriarchal simplicity in which it is conceived; while the language appears to us to be one of the most beautiful specimens of that soft and mellow English, which, with all its redundancy and cumbrous volume, has, to our ears, a far richer and more pathetic sweetness than the epigrams and apothegms of modern times. The letter begins in this manner.
" My dear wife and children, “ My love, which neither sea, nor land, nor death itself, can ex-, tinguish or lessen toward you, most endearedly visits you with eter
VOL. XXI. NO. 42.